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Kitty Wells: Three Great Tunes From the Queen of Country Music

Kitty Wells Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Long before there was a Taylor Swift or a Miranda Lambert or a Carrie Underwood, there was the one and only Kitty Wells.

Dubbed, and rightfully so, the Queen of Country Music, Wells sadly passed away on Monday after suffering complications from a stroke. She was 92.

And so, we thought it only appropriate to highlight some of her more memorable tunes as a way of paying tribute to an artist who was not only the first successful female country artist, but was later inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame as well as earning a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

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"It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels": Wells became the first woman to hit No. 1 on the Billboard country chart when this song was released in the summer of 1952. The tune was in direct response to Hank Thompson's popular track "Wild Side of Life," in which a man blames a woman he met at a bar for breaking up his marriage.

"One By One": In 1954, Wells teamed up with fellow country star Red Foley for this duet, which became her second chart-topper when it landed at No.1 on the country chart. Over the next two decades, Wells and Foley teamed up repeatedly and had several other hits, including 1954's "As Long as I Live."

"Heartbreak U.S.A.":  Wells found herself back on top of the country chart for her third and final time with this 1961 smash. She continued to create hits, though, well into the 1970s.

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